277 fake test results found at reactors

277 fake test results found at reactors

The government said Thursday that it found a total of 277 falsified test certificates for parts and materials used in nuclear reactors currently in operation.

About 100 officials from the state-run nuclear power plant operator, parts suppliers and certifiers have also been indicted on charges of forgery and corruption, the Office of Government Coordination said.

The government has conducted a thorough investigation into a total of 22,712 certificates for parts and materials used for 20 reactors over the last 10 years.

It has replaced 90 per cent of the parts with fake test results and ordered recertification for the rest.

Faked certificates were also found at reactors currently being constructed and suspended reactors.

"We have completed inspection of test results of parts and materials used from five reactors under construction and the other suspended three. We found a total of 2,010 fake certificates there," Kim Dong-yeon, Government Policy Coordination, said during a joint briefing with the Justice Ministry and Trade and Industry Ministry.

"Parts or materials with falsified certificates will be replaced or go through the qualification process," he said.

The nuke graft scandal was first reported in May shortly after atomic reactors were suddenly halted due to substandard parts and fraudulent quality certification. The scandal involves officials from Korea Hydro and Nuclear Plant and Korea Electric Power Corp., as well as their suppliers and certifiers who were found to have colludedand falsified test certificates for parts and materials used in reactors.

The government also unveiled a series of measures to prevent the recurrence of corruption in the nuclear industry.

The Energy Ministry said the government would seek to cut collusive ties between public energy corporations and their private suppliers.

For this, the government plans to ban retired officials from public energy corporations from being recruited by their subcontractors for three years.

The ministry also said it would revamp the purchase process for components of nuclear facilities so that it can be done in a transparent and fair manner.

In addition to these measures, ministry officials said the government would propose a law aimed at strengthening the management and supervision of nuclear operators

"In order to set up a long-term improvement plan, the ministry will continue to operate the special committee to monitor the purchasing system within the nuclear industry," said a ministry official.

The committee aims at expanding the supply network for nuclear components so that suppliers may compete in a fair, transparent way, according to the ministry.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)

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